Thursday, March 5, 2015

Science

SpaceX launches deep-space observatory on 3rd try, nixes rocket-landing test due to rough seas

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX launched an observatory inspired by former Vice-President Al Gore toward a solar-storm lookout point a million miles away Wednesday.
The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket blasted off on the third try in four days, successfully hoisting the spacecraft for NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Air Force.

Animals on ice: Research at ‘Frozen Zoo’ gene bank aims to resurrect near extinct species

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — Whenever an endangered animal dies at the San Diego Zoo, researchers race out, regardless of the hour, to remove its sperm or eggs, maybe a bit of ear or eyeball, and carefully freeze the cells in liquid nitrogen.

Arctic Ocean shoal where thousands of walrus congregate declared off-limits to oil drilling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A plateau on the Arctic Ocean floor, where thousands of Pacific walrus gather to feed and raise pups, has received new protections from the Obama administration that recognize it as a biological hot spot and mark it off-limits to future oil drilling.

Not lost in space: Museum announces previously unknown souvenirs from 1969 moon mission

NEW YORK — More than four decades after the Apollo 11 moon landing, a cloth bag full of souvenirs brought back by astronaut Neil Armstrong has come to light.
Among the trove: a 16 mm movie camera from inside the lunar module that filmed its descent to the moon and Armstrong’s first steps on the lunar surface in 1969.

Bird enthusiasts tally 1,114 species in Myanmar, 20 of them previously unrecorded

YANGON, Myanmar — An extensive survey of birds in Myanmar has revealed nearly two dozen not known to have existed in the country, including a large black seabird with a ballooning red neck sack and a tiny black and white falconet with a surprised, panda-like expression.

Romney calls climate change a big challenge for US, says it needs global solutions

SALT LAKE CITY — As he considers a third presidential campaign, Mitt Romney said Wednesday night that one of the country’s biggest challenges is climate change and that global solutions are needed to combat it.
“I’m one of those Republicans who thinks we are getting warmer and that we contribute to that,” he said.

India counts more than 2,000 wild tigers in 2014 census, credits conservation efforts

NEW DELHI — India’s latest tiger census shows a sharp increase in the number of endangered cats in the wild, raising hopes that conservation efforts are working, officials said Tuesday.
The census conducted in 2014 found at least 2,226 tigers in forests across the country. That’s up from 1,706 counted in the 2010 census.

Study finds common chemical BPA found in plastics causes hyperactivity in fish

CALGARY — A University of Calgary study has found that a common ingredient in consumer products can cause hyperactivity in zebrafish.
Bisphenol A, a chemical used to make household plastics and epoxy resins, is produced in large quantities around the world.

Plant disease that affects canola found in Canada for first time: Canola Council

A disease that has reduced yields in some European canola crops by up to 50 per cent has been detected for the first time in North America in a Manitoba field.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said it has confirmed the presence of Verticillium longisporum among canola crop plots at a farm research station in the province.

More Earth-like planets spotted

WASHINGTON—Earth has a few more near-twin planets outside our solar system—tantalizing possibilities in the search for extraterrestrial life.
Astronomers announced Tuesday that depending on definitions, they have confirmed three or four more planets that are about the same size as Earth and are in the not-too-hot, not-too-cold “Goldilocks Zone” for liquid water to form.

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